The new report from the Sipri Peace Research Institute is the first detailed study of Chinese arms sales. Accordingly, only the USA sells more weapons.
China has become the second largest arms producer in the world, according to a report by the Sipri Peace Research Institute. The Stockholm scientists' study shows that the country's four largest defence companies totaled around $ 54.1 billion in 2017. China ended up behind the US in global arms sales, but ahead of Russia.
It is the first detailed study of Chinese arms sales, according to Sipri. Previously, data from Chinese companies was hardly accessible. The discovery of new sources has now changed that. "We have long suspected and estimated that China's defence industry is very large," Sipri expert Nan Tian told dpa. For the report, the researchers evaluated new information from 2015 to 2017. The projections are conservative estimates.
The largest of the four Chinese companies, the aircraft manufacturer Avic, sold armaments worth $ 20.1 billion. Avic was the sixth largest weapon manufacturer in the world. According to the researchers, a total of three Chinese defence companies were among the ten largest manufacturers in the world in 2017.
The largest buyer of the goods is the People's Republic itself. "Almost all weapons that China produces are bought domestically by the Chinese military," said Tian. One reason for this is that Beijing wants to become completely independent of other countries in the manufacture of weapons and technologies for its military. At the same time, there is a slow trend, according to which the demand from abroad for Chinese armaments is increasing. However, there is still a long way to go before China reaches Russia's export figures, Tian said.
So far, Sipri had excluded China in its annual analysis of global arms sales because of insufficient data. From this year, the Chinese figures are to be taken into account for the first time in the Sipri report, which will be published in December. In the previous report for 2018, U.S. corporations were at the top of the hundred largest arms producers with a market share of 59 percent. Russia therefore had a market share of 8.6 percent, followed by Great Britain and France. Germany was 2 percent.